Dedicated hybrid

Like the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight, the Lexus HS 250h is a dedicated-hybrid model, which makes the HS the world's first dedicated-hybrid luxury car.
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Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET / Caption by:

HS 250h

Unlike the Prius, the HS 250h takes a more traditional, four-door, sedan form factor.
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Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET / Caption by:

Strange bedfellows

Lexus slots the HS 250h between the IS and the ES and oddly compares the hybrid to the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the BMW 3-Series, two very different types of vehicles.
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Aerodynamic

Thanks to carefully placed spoilers, body shaping, and underfloor air management, the HS 250h is able to achieve a low drag coefficient of 0.27, which is top in class.
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LED tail lamps

Out back, the HS 250h receives LED tail lamps with clear lenses.
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Handling

The suspension soaks up bumps with little drama. When pressed into a corner, the HS 250h exhibits a good deal of body roll--though not as much as we'd expected--and a great deal of understeer. Most importantly, the HS's handling is controllable and predictable.
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L-finesse grill

Up front, the HS receives the most striking example of Lexus' L Finesse styling by way of its angular three-bar grill, which reduces drag by directing air up and over the hood. Look for this aesthetic to show up on future Lexus hybrids.
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Available LED headlamps

Available LED headlamps cut down on power consumption over halogen lights.
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Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET / Caption by:

All-new dash configuration

The HS 250h's dashboard features fantastic ergonomics, placing all of the controls at the driver's fingertips.
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Remote-touch controller

It's part joystick and part trackball, with a dash of haptic-force feedback tossed in. The Lexus remote-touch controller navigates through menus in a manner to which computer users should already be accustomed.
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Push-button start

Keys are so 20th century. The Lexus HS 250h uses an RFID smart key and push-button start.
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Floating center console

The floating center console puts all of the controls at the driver's fingertips, while lifting the displays up to where they can be seen with minimal eye movement from center.
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Icon-based menu

The HS 250h's icon-based menu system uses haptic feedback through the remote-touch controller for easier use with less looking. As you roll over an icon, the joystick locks on and uses force feedback to pull the controller to the icon's center.
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Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET / Caption by:

Hard-drive-based navigation

The navigation system is snappy and beautifully rendered. Turn-by-turn directions are read aloud through a text-to-speech system that pronounces street names. Traffic data is provided through Lexus' Enform service.
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Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET / Caption by:

Wide front-view camera

Below six miles per hour, a wide-angle camera mounted in the HS's nose can be activated to give you a peek around corners ahead of the vehicle.
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Lane-keep assist and intelligent high beam cameras

On the back of the rear-view mirror is the camera for the intelligent high beams, which look for other vehicles and adjust the high beam lights accordingly. Just above that is the camera for the lane-keep assist, which recognizes lane markers and gently nudges the steering if you drift out of your lane.
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Rear-view camera

The rear-view camera, mounted on the rear decklid, brings the total camera count to four.
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Four modes

The HS 250h has four drive programs: normal drive, ECO mode, power mode, and EV electric-only mode.
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Shifter stalk

The joystick-like shifter stalk is reminiscent of that of the Toyota Prius and features push-button parking.
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Instrument cluster

The electroluminescent instrument cluster relays information about the hybrid-drive system on the left and speed on the right. An integrated LCD display cycles between readouts of the radar-guided cruise control, lane-keep assist, and fuel economy information.
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Deja vu

While the interior is like none that we've seen before, the exterior seems very familiar in both form and proportion.
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Looks familiar

Although slightly larger in most dimensions, we can't help but think the HS 250h looks a lot like the Toyota Corolla with a Lexus facelift.
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